Keynote Speeches

Bionetics 2011 will feature three of state-of-the-art keynote speeches by world authorities, listed below.

Keynote Speakers
Keynote 1

Jeremy Pitt
Keynote 2

Dario Floreano
PhD Forum Keynote

Gusz Eiben
Imperial College, London Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne Vrije University, Amsterdam
Dr Jeremy Pitt Prof Dario Floreano Prof Dr Gusz Eiben
"A Methodology for Engineering Intelligent Socio-Technical Systems" "Micro Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: From Biology to Engineering" "Methodological Issues in Bio-inspired Computing"

Keynote 1: "A Methodology for Engineering Intelligent Socio-Technical Systems"

Dr Jeremy Pitt

Intelligent Systems & Networks Group,
Dept. of Electrical & Electronic Engineering,
Imperial College London


Solutions to complex engineering problems can often be sought in biological or social systems. However, in taking inspiration from social sciences, we observe that the process needs to be grounded in a thorough conceptual understanding of social, legal or organisational processes and structures involved. Therefore we propose a methodology, which is based on formal characterisation of social concepts as the process which reveals the logical structure of the concepts, and principled operationalisation as the process by which we make them computable. We illustrate the method by applying Elinor Ostrom's theory of enduring institutions to engineering self-organising electronic institutions for resource allocation in open embedded systems. We conclude with observations about the related experience in biologically-inspired computing.

Keynote 2: "Micro Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: From Biology to Engineering"

Prof Dario Floreano

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland


Autonomous MAVs have a large potential to provide cheaper, faster, and safer imaging, monitoring, and communication services as compared to conventional solutions and large unmanned drones. Furthermore, because of their small and inherently safe size, MAV could fly closer to the ground and even in urban environments improving the quality and range of services. However, sensing and control represent a major challenge to achieve reliable service. In this talk I will present a number of solutions to endow MAVs with perceptual capabilities that allow them to avoid unforeseen obstacles, fly in swarm formation, and provide communication linkage between humans on the ground. The solutions that I will describe take inspiration from biology and result in simple and yet effective sensors and control rules.

About the speaker
Prof. Dario Floreano is the Director of the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne Switzerland (EPFL) and Director of the Swiss National Center of Robotics. His research focuses on the convergence of biology, artificial intelligence, and robotics. He published three books on the topics of evolutionary robotics, bio-inspired artificial intelligence, and bio-mimetic flying robots with MIT Press and Springer Verlag. 1988 M.A. University of Trieste; 1991 M.S. University of Stirling; 1995 PhD University of Trieste; 1998, Sony Computer Science Laboratories; since 2000 professor positions at EPFL; 2001 co-founder of the International Society of Artificial Life, Inc.; 2003-2008 Board of Governors of the International Society of Neural Networks; 2009 Advisory Board of the Future Emerging Technologies of the European Commission; 2009 co-founder of senseFly Ltd.

Keynote 3: "Methodological Issues in Bio-inspired Computing"

Prof. Dr. A. E. Eiben

Head of Computational Intelligence Group
Department of Computer Science
Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam


A solid research methodology is essential in empirical sciences. In this lecture I elaborate on the methodology in bio-inspired computing. I will consider the most important issues regarding experiment design, algorithm design, test problems, measurements and statistics, and discuss examples of poor as well as good practice.

About the speaker
Prof.Dr. A.E. Eiben is Head of the Computational Intelligence Group at the VU University Amsterdam. He is one of the European early birds of Evolutionary Computing, his first EC paper dates back to 1989. Since then he has published numerous research papers and the first comprehensive introductory book on evolutionary computing (Introduction to Evolutionary Computing, Springer, 2003, 2007). His main research interests include multi-parent crossovers, off-line tuning and on-line control of algorithm parameters, and, most recently, embodied artificial evolution.